The City of Fort Benton recently completed an award winning and very innovative project, one that not only upgraded the community’s wastewater treatment system, but added the unique twist of keeping the grass green at the City golf course.
The City’s original wastewater treatment system dated to 1960. As the system aged, its ability to meet current and future treatment standards was becoming questionable. With this in mind, the City decided to improve the system. The City was able to complete a project that continued to allow them to use the lagoon based technology, add additional treatment, and pump water to the golf course during the irrigation season.
The solution developed for the City reuses the existing aerated lagoons by removing sludge and upgrading the aeration system. Treatment of the wastewater now flows from the lagoons to clarification, with the potential to add alum and/or polymer to help settling of solids. Once the water is clarified, it is disinfected with both UV disinfection and chlorine disinfection. During the summer months, the water is stored in a lagoon until the golf course calls for irrigation during the off hours. When the golf course calls for water, the irrigation pumps will pump water from the storage lagoon to the golf course.
The irrigation system is designed to shut down during the winter. The existing MPDES permit will be utilized to discharge to the existing infiltration pond and eventually to the Missouri River during the non-irrigation season. This operation will allow the City to meet discharge limits in the winter and become a non-discharging system during irrigation season.
The project was completed in the fall of 2018. The total cost of the project was $5,345,222, of which the City directly contributed $743,200. Recently, the City was honored by winning the Montana Chapter of American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) waste and storm award for its innovative cost saving solution.
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